Tuesday, 27 October 2009

There's Life In The Old Dog Yet!

The new kid in the guard took on the old dog (well, ape) Ginge last night. The old guard carried the day.

I detailed the army lists a few days ago in this post so read through if you need your memory refreshing. I wrote my army list planning to use the Eradicator and Hellhound to lay some hurt on key targets. His heavy weapon squads and his feel no pain command squad. I'd assumed he'd be taking a feel no pain command sqaud, a touch of the old nurgle as a comfort to him :oP Being as Eradcicator and Hellhound are both Str 6, they ignore Feel No Pain on guardsmen, both ignore cover, and both are capable on instant killing the heavy weapon teams (that now count as two wound models) on a 2+ I was hoping to get rid of more of his Lascannon squads with my Punisher, and use my vanquisher and possibly some Chimeras as shields for these three key tanks until I'd taken out his Lascannons. Once he was down to Missile Launchers at my front Armour (glances only) I could afford to be a bit more cavalier. Of course, no plan survives contact with the enemy. Mine didn't survive contact with the table. Chris won first turn in a Spearhead Take and Hold. I went back home to collect the Hellhound I'd forgotten while he was setting up, and eventually he was finished. With where his heavy squads were deployed I had a very limited amount of spaces I could hide my tanks from his (quite excellently placed) fields of fire. Also my Eradicator wouldn't be able to target his command squad (I wanted that dead asap, as it would be messing with my reserves) so in the end I deployed the Punisher, Hellhound, and a Chimera and kept the rest in reserve. I figured I'd need something to deal with his outflanking Al Rahem platoon... not to mention the fact that until his valkyrie showed up there wasn't much for my Vanquisher to do.

Chris moved towards the empty building in my half of the field, in the empty quarter. He says he wanted to occupy this building as a good firing position, but his run rolls let him down. His veterans showed up and pegged my Hellhound. The resulting explosion of full promethium tanks killed half his squad. The rest of his army fired upon my smoke protected chimera (whose purpose was to give the hellhound some cover - Doi!) and eventually cracked it and killed the Veterans inside. My Sentinals turned up and attacked the Valkyrie. A H/K missile brought it down, whilethe Heavy flamers I'd "optimistically" fired at it too just happened to catch the remainder of his veterans squad... My Valkyrie also showed up, and threw some Rocket Pod love around, while sheltering behind a building from the sheer amount of firepower Chris could put out.

Al Rahem showed up, but thanks to us messing with each others reserves and the "can't reroll a reroll" rule he arrived on the wrong side. Havingbeen informed that his army had rearranged roadsigns to confuse the enemy, he followed the "wrong" signs. As it turned out, my army had corrected the roadsigns, in their efforts to confuse the enemy. In summary, no one knew where the hell anything was or where they were supposed to be going! So they started the lonely jog towards my objective.

When my reserves arrived, I brought a couple of squads of vets on in their chimeras to block most heavy weapon teams LOS to my Eradicator, which managed to do some damage to the Lascannon building in the centre of Chris lines (sheltering 9 Lascannon teams! - oh to be able to blow up a ruin!) My second penal legion squad (the first had assault lasguns, then charged the enemy. From 40 Str 3 shooting combat attacks, I caused 3 wounds. Which Chris saved all of. Very forgettable, and why I haven't mentioned them before now... I forgot!) arrived on the wrong side of the battlefield looking hopelessly lost so I sent them to claim my objective, meaning my Veterans were free to intercept Al'Rahem. Meanwhile, Straken left his Valkyrie and started kicking arse and taking names amongst the guardsmen around him. I deliberately charged a commissar equipped squad, who promplty held due to Stubborn. The other squad needed a double 1 to stay in the fight... and duly rolled it! Oh well, the more the merrier that keeps my command squad from getting shot!

Over the course of a couple of punishing turns for both sides...

Chris pegged the Nova Cannon off my Eradicator. Irritating Bastard! Marbo finally woke up and dropped his demo charge, and was slaughtered by mass lasgun fire in reply. I flamed Al'Rahem and a squad. Chris mowed down my veterans. Chris charged and stripped my Eradicator (leaving a weaponless box on bricks... didn't know Al'Rahem and co were scouse...) which then left his men nicely bunched up for my veterans to flame... they were then cut down by mass lasgun fire. My penal legion moved into a very spread out position based roughly around my objective. Chris mortared them a few times to get their attention. The vanquisher proved slightly useful by Instant killing a couple of heavy weapon teams (which was thus 33% casualties and a morale check) while Straken worked his way along the enemy backline muching his way thorugh squad after squad.

By turn 5 it was looking favourable for me. I had a valkyrie escorting a unit off the board, Straken on the objective, and several fleeing weapon teams all under half strength (three of which I broke in turn 5) My objective was safely held. but we had a turn 6. Chris had a stern choice - deal with Straken and reclaim his objective, or mortar me off mine. He tried to kill Straken, but a Feel No Pain squad in cover is difficult to shift. He moved an infantry squad out towards my objective, while everything that could see Straken shot at him. On my turn 6 I moved Straken out of cover to kill off the mortar squads that could theoretically claim the objective for Chris. I killed his command squad too. The valk took Strakens contesting position just in case. And my chimera backtracked so as to place itself between Chris squad and my objective. After killing his mortars, I decided to be bold. Instead of contesting his objective in cover, I struck out across open ground, placing my squad between the objective and the only scoring unit that could hope to reach it. We got a turn 7.

With Straken out in the open several krak missiles found their mark and severely depleted his squad. Straken, the priest and the medic held out though, and took out the last scoring unit on Chris side of the board inmy assault phase. The valkyrie fired some rocket pods at some infantry, but by then it was all over. My penal legionnaires claimed my objective, there was nothing left near Chris objective, and a somewhat battered infantry platoon occupying a building in No mans land was all that was left of Chris army. To be fair, I only had a battered and bloody Straken and the remnants of his command squad, a valkyrie, vanquisher, chimera and penal leigon squad. 4 out of 5 of my scoring units were dead.

A few pointers for Chris. Remembering Orders. I've already mentioned this one, and am not so familiar with it myself and often forget too. I also questioned how much use he got out of his platoon in no mans land, but he explained his plan to occupy the building but was let down by poor run rolls. Course then my tanks turned up and he wanted his missile launchers firing. He is now rethinking heavy weapons in basic squads, as they do tie a unit down. I've been swearing by that strategy for years.

Another thing I have since though of... putting all the lascannons in that building. Yes, it gave them a good vantage point. Yes, they had good cover. But they also all had the same field of fire. I reduced the squad that was in a different position to one team on my first turn. After that I could move my Leman Russ Chassis vehicles more freely. Missile Launchers don't worry them, lascannons do. If he'd put his Lascannons in different places to get more overlapping fields of fire, he would have caused me some more problems.

The only other thing I have since thought of... he took out 4 of my 5 scoring units. If he'd concentrated his mortars on taking out the fifth, I couldn't possibly win. He could then have tried to kill Straken or lure him away from the objective and brought his platoon back to swamp me... but worst case scenario it's a draw. In objective games guard armies rarely have to worry about not having enough scoring units. Other armies do. In this game, I did have a small supply of scoring units. I protected them by keeping several in reserve. But it's always something to consider. When I look at an objective game, I see what scoring units he has. Often with a guard army it's easier (with ordnance) to decimate 12" around his objective than to stop him from getting a sick assault squad in to contest yours. You can then have an outflanking penal squad or a squad in a valkyrie swoop in through the battered and twisted landscape to claim theirs.

In the end, Chris did well against, quite frankly, his worst possible opponent. Sure, I wasn't quite equipped to deal with horde guard (those guys who brought meltabombs felt a little ridiculous it has to be said) but I do know guard. I know the danger squads, I know the fields of fire. I am better positioned than most to minimise the amount of damage he could do to me, while knowing the perfect areas I could strike to do damage to him.

Overall, a good fun game. I look forward to what Chris comes up with next. But for gods sake, buy some tanks!

Saturday, 24 October 2009

A Tale of Four Gamers - Round 1

Ok, your army lists are in, so here is what everyone is painting! Note that I've checked the points and it all works out roughly right here. We're aiming for about 500 cos I know wargear and equipment can vary prices and thus how much you have to paint. As long as everything looks reasonable in the list, I will just say what models you are painting here. Do note however, that if you, for instance, claim that each guardsmen in your army has frags, kraks, meltabombs, pistols, close combat weapons, personal vox kits and re-breathers, a canteen, a tent, enough styrcine to kill a bull elephant, full campfire equipment, a bull elephant, camo netting sufficient to cover a baneblade and a flashlight (aka lasgun) and thus you only need to paint 4 infantry this month, I will make this contest WYSIWYG ;oP

So here we are, what needs to be painted in November (or by the 7th December for a reduced score)

5 man command squad including medic and power fist
5 man command squad including missile launcher
2 x 10 man squads including missile launcher
2 x 6 man heavy squads including 3 lascannons

1 Commander with 2 drones
2 Crisis suits with 2 drones
10 Fire Warriors
1 Hammerhead

1 Winged Daemon Prince
10 Chosen, including Power Fist, 2 power weapons, and mark of slaanesh
1 Rhino

2 x 12 Ork Boyz including Nob with Power Klaw
2 x Truk with red paint job and wrecking ball
10 Stormboyz

So, as expected, the two horde armies face a much bigger task than the elite forces. Chris has gone for a good starting core to his army. Ken has also gone for a nice core start, with a bit of heavy support for shits and giggles. I have gone for a couple of core units complimented by more fast movers for what I plan to be a speed freaks army. And Rich has gone for an interesting addition to his Tzentch forces with a hard hitting Slaaneshi combat squad.

Good luck with the challenge, and gentlemen, start your brushes...

Thursday, 22 October 2009

The Infantrymans Challenge

With a game pre-arranged for next Mondays club night, my opponent Chris rued the fact that we could prepare our armies for each other, and I far more than he ever could. This is sadly true, though the loadout I've been running these past couple weeks was pretty vicious against him and I was planning to stick with that rather than try to specialise further, but I came up with an idea. Chris is about to start a guard army for our Tale Of Four Gamers campaign. And I have LOTS of guardsmen. Why not jump in at the deep end?

So I told Chris that I had designed an army knowing I was facing guard. He was to do the same. He could then send me his requirements. I could let him know if his requirements were available, and he could tweak accordingly until he had a legal army list he could build.

Chris surpised me with his list. I know he covets my artillery... and the new punisher begs out for inclusion, and the vanquisher is a potent anti tank platform. He went for none of these. Instead, he went for a horde army. As he sent me his whole army list, in an interest of fairness I will compare our approaches here.

He has a command section with reserve boosting/disrupting advisors. He then has two infantry platoons, each consisting of a command with missile launcher, 4 squads with missile launchers, 2 lascannon heavy weapon squads and a mortar heavy weapon squad. He then has a veteran squad loaded for tank killing in an infantry pounding valkyrie, and Al Rahem leading a platoon to my flank, consisting of command and 3 squads with grenade launchers and krak grenades, to give them some punch against my tanks.

So this army will have 12 lascannons and 10 Missile launchers for me to deal with, along with very mobile vets, a large outflanking force that all comes on at once, and a total of 15 scoring units. Wow!

Already this infantry horde has made part of my army build obsolete... my vets with meltabombs feel a bit overburdoned with useless equipment by now, as does the vanquisher I put in to deal with the tanks I assumed Chris would take. My build is designed to kill a balanced infantry/vehicle list, so some of those points are clearly wasted. We'll have to hope the anti infantry part lives up to it's job. I can also be thankful i went for a different approach, in that I wanted to limit the troops that would be out in the open. With that amount of men outflanking and those pesky mortars, I'm glad I chose that option.

For my army, I have Straken in his usual combat command squad. A bit overkill when merely facing other guardsmen, but he's a habitual part of my army and I thought it in character to keep him in. Besides, I figured he'd be good for taking down Chris' tanks... he will be accompanied by reserve boosting/disrupting advisors... this could be an interesting battle of nerves.

Also by force of habit Marbo will be making an appearance. I love my Catachans.

This time to represent the deathworld vets I have 3 squads of veterans. Loaded with meltabombs for tank busting (godamnit!) and flamers for toasting the infantry (at least I got something right!) I also have a couple of penal legion squads to add in some cheap scoring units, though my scoring unit total of 5 now feels a little dwarfed! Anyway the vets are in Chimeras. I also have a valkyrie loaded for infantry killing, and to double up as battlefield taxi.

I then have 3 Catachan sentinals, a hellhound (ooooh it burrrrns :oP) a rather pointless Vanquisher, a punisher with the worlds biggest target marker no doubt already drawn on it in Chris minds eye, and an Eradicator (haven't used this tank yet and found a bit I can use to convert the turret. Always nice to try new things.) With a few points left to go I went for a couple vehicle upgrades and a ministorum priest.

Looking over the list I have to say I think Chris is far better equipped to deal with me than I with him. His mortars will have limited targets sure... but those are cheap. My meltabombs and vanquisher come to about 350 points... that's a good amount of points that is NOT going to earn it's keep. It will be an interesting game. Can my greater guard experience overcome the disadvantage on paper? Note that I don't think there's anything broken with his army, or particularly failing in mine... it was just unexpected... sorta like "I swore he'd go scissors, bugger!" Now my rock is looking a little foolish, and hoping not to get swamped by the tide of paper coming his way. Look for the result on Tuesday.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

The Scuttling Horde

So turned up at the club last night having been informed by Rich that I was due a mystery game. He said my army was well set up for it. Ok, so some sort of MEQ then.

So there's a bunch of tyranids in front of me then. Right. It didn't even appear to be Rich trying to set me up, he generally considered I had an army built to kick arse. Er, sure, out of small numbers in power armour. This army is good against MEQ and I'd take it against a light infantry force like Tau or Eldar. Against horde it is fighting on the back foot straight away... there is only one flame weapon inthe entire army... and that's on a basilisk (wysiwyg is the way I play, and figured the hull weapon never gets used on a basilisk anyway. By the time the enemy get's that close, I'm usually dead.)

We had to fight over 5 objectives, DOW setup. I get to deploy first, so set up my chimeras along the centre line to pen him as far back as possible. He deployed a tyrant and two swarms on my right flank, nothing on the left or centre. My first turn, well my basilisks rolled on my left corner. Bit of a problem from any outflankers, but I wanted to get as many barrage shots as possible on him while I could. My executioners took up position in the centre, where they could see most of the objectives. The vanquishers rolled on the right planning to take a shot at his tyrant in turn 2, and also to provide a tempting target for outflankers should he have the choice (keep those basilisks alive as long as possible!) The chimeras reversed 6-12" across the line, positioning themselves on 3 of 5 objectives. He had a couple of shoty carnifexes walk on, a combat fex, and a couple warrior squads. everything else slithered or chittered forwards. And ran. 5 or 6 for everything. Eager little bastards.

Turn 2, the executioners tore through one of the squads of warriors. Left two (one limping) plus a scattered shot knocked a owund off the combat carnifex. Picked most of the wounds off his tyrant, which then absorbed some more shooting as the temptation to finish him off quick was there. Killed some of his leapy sythy gaunts. And generally held the line. His turn 2 was punishing. 2 lictors, the rippers, and the genies with broodlord arrived. Combined with the leapy sythy gaunts being in range of a chimera, i lost my right flank. chimera and 2 vanquishers, and the lictors killed the executioners. My basic plan to tempt him along the right and then flip my line of battle to hold the three left of centre line seemed a bit optimistic, as he'd torn through my right flank in pretty short order.

Turn 3 I tidied up where I could. Pegged the annoying lictors, barraged a bunch of the broodlords cohorts that were nicely bunched up after killing my tanks, and jumped 4 meltagun out of a transport to go for his combat fex. 4 shots... 4 misses. Well you lot were useful weren't you?!? They were promptly eaten in his turn, the survivors fled (incidentally, in the 2 turns they were fleeing they managed to get off another 4 shots. 1 hit. From 8. Godamnit!) The broodlord took a couple of genies into the building nearest an objective, to get out of the rain (read basilisk barrage) The swarm steadily advanced, and here's where I think they made a mistake. They charged a chimera. He couldn't hurt it, but he said it got him a bit closer to me for next turn. True, true. But it also bunched you up nicely, so when my chimera drove away...

Turn 4, basilisks ordnance some gaunts to perfection. 29 hits. 23 wounds. That'd be 22 dead gaunts then. Awesome! Took some more shots at the annoying carnifex. Hitting with 3 out of 3 on mulitlaser, 3 out of 3 on heavy bolter, both shots from the autocannon, but the plasmagun, the only thing that will ignore his 2+ save...? no, both shots miss. Every single chimera had a similar pattern. On his turn, that fex then got among me and started munching on chimeras and whatever fell out of them. Including my command squad. Which the commander survived. Had to pass a Ld test of 5... did! Which kept the carnifex safe in combat for turn 5, preventing the fleeing meltaguns that had to run directly past him from trying to pick off his last wound and free up the objective for my troops. Also in this turn, his genies turned up, and swarmed all over the basilisks. No more support fire from them then. And to add insult to injury, his gaunts came back on... godamn without number rule. Still, at least they're a long way from me now, though nicely positioned to pick up his objective (I'd been wondering why he'd not left something covering that.)

Here is where I must put on something crucial that I forgot last night. Basilisks are open topped. Which means +1 to the damage table. So when he wrecked them both, they should have exploded. Which would have been a very satisfying way of thinning out his genie squad.

Seeing the carnifex was immovable for a turn, the chimera swapped to another objective. A couple of empty chimeras that had been doodling around trying to herd squads together for barrage shots went and contested both his objectives. My troops sat on another one. They were then joined by some warriors who failed to kill the chimera, but contested the objective just fine. The fex saw off my foolhardy commander, then took it's place atop the objective.

End of turn 5, Guard - 1 Nids - 1 contested - 2 unclaimed - 1. Roll... we play on.

Turn 6. I send a squad round to pick off the genestealers that are claiming his objective. Also sent in a chimera to contest directly. Sent another empty chimera to contest where the first one had left. Tried shooting the fex some more, though killed off the hive tyrant that was bearing down on me. Inched as far as I could away from the advancing genies while staying in range of the objective. Killed off the broodlords pals, meaning he could no longer claim the objective. His turn 6, his genies advanced. His fex finished off a fleeing squad. His rippers avenge his genies, taking away any chance I had of stealing the objective off the broodlord. His fleet roll for his genies was crucial - 4+ would get him in range of my objective (and assault range of my tank!) He rolled a 5. Bugger. The genies killed the chimera and sat on the objective.

Turn 6 - Nids - 1 unclaimed - 2 contested - 2. Roll... we play on.

Turn 7 it's all or nothing. Thinking the single wound carnifex will be an easier kill than the three warriors in front of me, I get the squad out of the chimera on my contested objective and head back to face the beast. I get within range of the objective. My chimera, knowing the broodlord can't claim the objective, throws itself in to contest the gaunts objective with the other chimera. The squad that had their chimera torn apart around them prepare to unload and try to kill as many of thegenies holding his objective as possible. Shooting. The plasmagun is the only gun in the squad that can hurt the fex. Misses. Twice. And toasts himself too. Great. Every other chimera I had spare fired at the fex too and eventually brought him down, giving me the objective. The other squad shot the genies, but missed withthe majority. Oh well, that'll be them dead next turn then. His turn. His genies abandoned thier objective, safe in the knowledge that the squad that had shot at them were 4" from the objective. The genies fleet towards my scoring unit (as do the warriors.) The fleet rolls are good enough, both squads get in, and massacre my unit. The genies hold the central objective for a result of Nids -1 contested - 1 unclaimed - 3. I have a few chimeras doing laps and a squad of men 4" from an objective saying "What just happened? where'd the Nids go?"

This was a good fun game. It was very close. Though I do wish I'd had a different army build. Normally I bring Straken and the catachans and have flamers coming out of my arse. And play marines. My most balanced armies were two infantry platoons, one with meltas the other with flamers. Oh how I'd have loved to have brought those. But such is life. I did think this list was a bit MEQ biased after I'd written it, but for a horde army they didn't do all that badly. Don't want to imagine how bad it would have been if he'd gopt first turn and been able to deploy halfway across the board though... that would have been a massacre!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

ooooh shiny...

Just got emailed that this little beauty is onit's way to GW in January. If this is a plastic set you can count me in for a squad straight away. Even though I don't have the army. They're just gorgeous.

If it's metal I might still be tempted to get a few, but less of them :o/

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Nurgle, Nurgle, Nurgle...

So the other day I decided to write up a gunline army. Most of my armies are centred around Straken and an uber combat unit (I love the look on peoples face when they realise that guard can occassionally fight!) but had noticed that now my regular opponents were expecting precisely this of me. Time to shake things up again.

So I started with the heavy support. I squadroned two basilisks together to give me some good ordnance fire. I then squadroned two Vanquishers with Lascannons. I figured that combined fire should be a potent anti-tank force. And then cos they're new models (but not wanting to mix Executioners damaging AP with Punishers plentiful shots, otherwise wound allocation would screw me...) I went for an executioner squadron of two tanks, with all the plasma cannon trimmings.

In support of this I went for two mechanised infantry platoons, the command squad with meltas as roving anti tank, and the two squads with autocannon and plasmagun, for poking out of the top hatch and supplimenting the chimeras firepower. Both platoons the same, so that's 6 mechanised scoring units. And rounded out with a command squad in chimera, again set up to sit back and fire with an autocannon and two plasmaguns.

I arrived at the club to find I'd be playing Rich, using Chris' Nurgle. Exellent, plenty of plasma goodness, I couldn't have asked for a better opponent. We rolled Sieze Ground, Spearhead. I got first turn and set out my gunline. Rich kept EVERYTHING in reserve. So my first two turns were spent manouvering into position on the objectives with hopefully some decent fields of fire on the likely avenues of approach. When his reserves did arrive, (summoned lesser daemons first, so who knows where those things arrived, 10 miles behind the lines perhaps) and his outflanking chosen. This couldn't have gone better for him as it gave him the chance to get a squad behind me and tackle my basilisks. Everything else was facing forward (I knew only the chosen and the terms could get behind me, so had to be prepared for the majority.) so he managed to cause a fair amount of disruption back there. The majority of the rest of his army then arrived. He made some good headway. My shooting was appalling. My uber anti tank vanquisher squadron shot at a defiler. Missed with all four shots. Shot again the next turn. Missed witht he vanquishers, but hit with the lascannons. Needing 3s... snake eyes. And the executioners took a chance against the other defiler. 10 plasma cannon and 2 lascannon shots later... stunned. Which it ignores anyway. Gah!However, with me happily ensconced on all four objectives it was up to Rich to shift me. And he was doing well, causing merry hell with his defilers. He contested three objectives by the end of turn 5... of course, the downside of Rich forfeiting our first two turns was that the game was at a later stage than he might have realised. So given the chance to run his marines in to contest my fourth objective or take a shot at me he took the shot. Then when I pointed out that we had to roll to see if we had another turn, a look of horror befell his face. The dice favoured me, and despite getting rather badly arse kicked I won 1-0 in objectives.

With this game only effectively being 3 turns long, we had time for another game, and Nige stepped up. Same army. This time Take and Hold. Spearhead once again. I again go first, so deploy my gunline. Nige follows Richs' advice and holds his army off the board. Course this time I had less manouvering to do, I just sent a couple of chimeras scurrying towards Niges home objective. nige replicated Richs daemon summoning (back at base camp!) and then unlike Rich his army turned up somewhat piecemeal. So I took it apart as such. It helped that I think I used up ALL my bad luck against Rich. Those oh so ineffective Executioners last time, this time opened fire on a squad once. Just once, as the puddle that remained ensured that nothing entered their field of fire after that. 35 plasma shots and 2 lascannon shots ensured a swift death for the sorcerer and his bodyguard. I was doing stirling work at killing anything that arrived. Unfortunately for me, Niges final troops squad didn't arrive till turn 5. Earlier, and I think he'd have thrown them at me, leaving one squad to hold his own objective. But having that holding sqaud taken several casualties, and having decided my objective was just too big a task, he winged them towards his own to support the fight there. Behind a building, with my own troops trying to contest, there weren't many things that could fire in amongst them. In the end, despite having an immobilised cannonless defiler, and just about enough marines to make up one squad, Nige had seen off my guardsmen (or at least kept them boxed up in a stunned chimera out of the way) and the objective was his... It ended 1-1. Though, just for the sake of interest, that squad of guardsmen he saw off was the first thing of mine he'd killed... Everyhting went right in this one, yet drew. Everything went wrong in the last one, yet won. Strange.

Finally, the morning after, played Chris with his nurgle before he had to go to uni. Take and Hold Spearhead once again. This time the board was more open so I kept a few chimeras off to head on for his objective from reserve. Chris boldly went for deploying his army. First things first, take out those damn defilers! Credit goes to the basilisks for one of the kills I believe, the first of many accolades and one Chris and I at first overlooked when tallying up the game. Chris sent everything towards me. He dropped his terms in a very bold place, and took out my executioners. From the placement of the terminators, those executioners HAD to die as far as Chris was concerned...

I believe it was at this point that Chris got a squad out of an immobilised Rhino. Reasoning that I was more likely to scatter off target completely if the squad took up less room, he bunched them up together. The downside of this being, when I promptly rolled two hits, it was only the Sorcerers inv save that kept him in the fight, once more standing in a green puddle that used to be a squad of troops (though given last time he hadn't been standing in a puddle of troops, merely oozing wih them, it was a definite improvement...) I was holding my own on top of the hill where I'd chosen to place my objective. With hindsight, perhaps I should have placed it further back, but that would have meant deploying my scoring units further back too, and would have opened up the temptation of an outflank for Chris chosen.

As my reserves turned up I sent a single chimera to go for Chris as yet untouched objective, while the other two went in support of my command chimera. They whittled down a squad quite well, but couldn't take out the meltaguns or power fist sergeant. When his chosen and his terms came to join the fray, it looked bleak. His chosen did a spectacular job of blowing up a chimera... killing 1 chosen and 3 terms in the process. I beleive they may have killed two guardsmen too, but was in too mcuh hysterics to recall accurately. Of course htis left his chosen nicely bunched up. My basilisks once again got the targetting perfect. Bye bye chosen.

Chris dropped his summoned lesser daemons near his objective, to claim it for himself. meanwhile his power fist sergeant and a couple of buddies were doing an effective job on my left flank. My plasmaguns having mostly fried themselves by now, I was back to the old thing of throwing everything I had and hoping one of them fell. Its a slow and laborious process. One that was sped up by the basilisks. i ordered them to fire on the squad. One obeyed my order, leaving just hte power fist sergeant standing. The other seemed to be a very wayward shot... but the crew clearly knew what they were doing, as the sorcerers luck finally ran out!

Having repaired several rhinos, chris was now charging them headlong through the wreckage of several vehicles to try to contest my objective. I meanwhile was doing much the same at his end with a chimera. I couldn't panic his daemons, but I could herd them away from the objective... This ring o roses ended in stalemate on Chris objective, and a brave rhino rush meant mine was contested also. The game ended 0-0. We played on an extra turn for shits and giggles, and while I got rid of the offending rhino, his power fist sergeant did the oh so usual thing of charging a guard squad, killing a couple, then laughing as they flee, leaving him alone to claim the objective. So if we'd had a turn 7 Chris would have won the day I think. Byt he end of the game, I had 2 chimeras and 2 basilisks. Chris had a couple of rhinos, a couple of terms, and about 4 plaguemarines, plus a few lesser daemons. I had 360 points left, Chris about 500. We'd kicked the living shit out of each other!

While in the second game the executioners proved their worth with 37 killing on 2s hits... this set them up for a fall in the game against Chris. He wanted them dead, and quick. On the bright side, this left the basis unmolested to do Stirling work. We believe they killed a defiler on turn one, troops squad 1 on turn 2, rattled a couple of Rhinos on turn 3 (they'd bunched up, couldn't resist the shot) the chosen on turn 4, a few plague marines and a chaos sorcerer on turn 5, and possibly a Rhino on turn 7. I can't remember what they did on turn 6, but if the above list is anything to go by the crew were busy painting kill markings on the side of the damn tanks! We reckoned they'd done about 700 points worth of damage (without the defiler, which we forgot) for a 250 point squadron. Man of the match or what?!?

Course, that army is vicious. But I've played three games in a row with it now. Admittedly agains the same army, though threee different opponents. Most armies I creat don't see two games in a row! So I'm probably gonna change things around for my next game... but success is nice, so might give it a few more runouts ;o)

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Risky Business

I am an avid fan of the Risk board game and all it's offshoot. 2210 in particular is an excellent game. But Risk does have a drawback. The two player game. Against an equal opponent, under classic risk and 2210, if you got first turn, you would win. Ok, so a serious run of good or bad luck by the relevent parties could alter it. But with average rolls, that first turn advantage would carry through to win you the game, unless you majorly fucked up. Against a less skilled opponent it's something I can overturn. Against my brother, against my most regular opponent nige, people who are familiar with how the game works, that who goes first dice roll was game deciding. Now once you throw some more human players into the mix, who can gang up and double cross, you have a fantastic game. But knowing he can have a safe margin against the neutrals, the first turn aggressor can go hell for leather and leave you with barely anything. You then claw a little back, but then the second turn comes and his territorial advantage counts... you never recover. The neutrals ignore him, he ignores them. If the neutrals were another human player, they would exploit the weak points he'd left. No such luck in the two player game.

I was in Tesco last night and I spotted Risk: Balance of Power. it is designed to be a 2 player game. As it was only £20 I picked it up. I obviously haven't had chance to game yet, but a quick perusal of the rules makes it look interesting. One player, randomly determined, sets up ALL the pieces. His opponent then chooses which army to be, blue or red. This motivates the deployer to provide advantage to neither side. They also have an interesting way to win the game - you complete certain objectives. Once you have completed three objectives you win. There's the obvious owning of continents, but also capturing key locations and sea lanes. The basic game mechanics are the same. There is an added part to this game in the command charts (not used in the basic game, only in the command room version. But the basic looks piss easy, a way to teach someone who's never played ANY risk before) where you keep track of your casualties and can trade them in for a boost in your turn. This looks an interesting way to stop one side from hammering the other - the trouble with two player risk, once one player gets a considerable margin, there's no way back. At least with other human armies they can gang up on him. Not so in two player. Here the more you batter your opponent, the more of an advantage he'll be able to claim in retaliation. It seems a good way to keep things close, rather than having one player steamroller the other.

I'm back at the club Monday but have agreed to teach people Space Hulk, maybe get a couple games in myself. But I might look to try this in the not too distant future. Perhaps before ToFG kicks in and absorbs all my wargaming time :oP

Here it is available on amazon and here is someone elses review (someone who has actually played it I presume :oP)

Thursday, 1 October 2009

A Tale of Four Gamers

Ok, Chris and I have been kicking this idea round for a week or so, and here's the finalised rules.

Each month each gamer will submit a 500 point list of what he has to paint. He will do this to me by the last day of the preceding month. I can then put all the lists up on this blog for all to see. These lists do NOT have to be legal armies. He will then have till the last day of the month to paint those models to be on time. Failing that he will have one extra week to paint the models for them to be considered painted late. Failure to meet this deadline counts as unpainted. Models can be confirmed painted visually by the other members, or by emailing pictures to me at scotchjon@gmail.com before the deadline day. Provided I receive the pictures before deadline day, they'll count as on time. Any gamer can email me the pictures if they wish (even if we get visual confirmation) in order to spruce up the blog entries :oP

At any time should someone wish to drop something they have previously painted and replace it with another unit (perhaps playtesting makes you think you've made a poor selection) then you may do so. This is extra work and is your choice to do so. If you wish to swap a unit out, then the replacement unit will have to be painted. As mentioned, this could entail additional work for you. There will be a penalty of 1 point per unit for any unpainted replacements. Replacements brought in in this way can be painted at ANY time, provided they are painted before they are needed. This is to help those who may already have done a couple of core units without prior knowledge of this contest. Any unit dropped from the list will be added to that gamers apocalypse force (for the final challenge.) In this way gamers who realise they haven't painted a legal army yet can correct this mistake before it is time for them to play any games.

Here is a basic rundown with dates where they are known. Please get your 500 point starter lists to me by the 31st October.

Month 1 - 500 points by the 30th November. 5 points for on time, 3 for late (7th Dec), 0 for unpainted.

Month 2 - 500 points by 31st December. 5 points for on time, 3 for late (7th Jan), 0 for unpainted. Bonus 3 points available for getting a test game against someone (not necessarily a ToFG competitor, anyone will do. Get a couple of pics if possible.)

Month 3 - 500 points by 31st January. 5 points for on time, 3 for late (7th Feb), 0 for unpainted. Also, will play a mini-league with each competitor playing each other competitor. League rankings will determine 5, 3, 2, and 1 points. This will take place late january (date TBC)... as such unpainted models from that months batch will be allowed (as it should take place before the deadline.) We will look to book the club for a Sunday to get the games in.

Month 4 - 500 points by 28th February. 5 points for on time, 3 points for late (7th Mar), 0 for unpainted. Bonus 2 points for modelling an objective marker. Further bonus 1 point for a further objective marker.

Month 5 - As much extra as you wish for Apoc. Legendary Units, Super Heavies, whatever you like. Deadline is the day of the apoc game, probably late March or early April (date TBC). There will be no points available for painting, but simply put if it isn't painted you can't use it. Any units dropped from earlier 500 point blocks can be put back in here. All forces will join our standing 2000 point armies. The sides will probably be Rich and I vs Chris and Ken (Chaos and Orks vs Guard and Tau makes most sense from a fluff point) but if anyone has any particular objections we can negotiate that later. Any difference in points will be covered by additional strategic assets for the poorer party. Scoring for this month will be 5 points for each person on the winning team. There will be an additional 5 points for the "Champion" of each team. This will be decided by completing a secret personal objective (so secret even their team mate isn't allowed to know!)

I believe these rules are as fair and clear as I can make them, but any questions either comment below or email/text me and we'll sort it out. I believe the armies will be the following, but feel free to correct me if you have a sudden change of heart.

Ginge - Orks
Chris - Imperial Guard
Ken - Tau
Rich - Chaos Space Marines

Best of luck to all the competitors. And don't forget to have your first 500 point list to me by the 31st October.